Contrary to traditional beliefs that only Caucasians are prone to skin cancer, a growing number of Indians have been victim to this deadly disease. In spite of the brown color that is believed to protect the skin against the harmful effects of the sun rays, the higher concentration of melanin is not always sufficient to protect oneself against sunburn and prolonged exposure to UV light. Today, there is a record of 3,915,700 cases of skin cancer in India. Recognizing Skin Cancer Skin cancer typically develops on areas that are usually exposed to the sun such as scalp, lips, ears, face, neck, arms, hands, legs, and chest. It is also sometimes found on your finger or toenails, genital areas or palms irrespective of the exposure levels to the sun. In fact, people with darker skin are more prone to skin cancer in areas that are not normally exposed to the sun. • If you feel a pearly or waxy bump on your skin or a scar like lesion that is flat and flesh-colored; check with your doctor immediately and test for basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. • If you come across a red nodule that is firm, or a flat lesion that is scaly and feels crusted on the surface, it is important that you test for squamous cell carcinoma, another form of skin cancer. • Check with your doctor for melanoma in case you encounter a brownish spot with darker speckles or a mole that bleeds or changes size and color. Melanoma symptoms also include small lesions with irregular borders and areas that appear blue-black, blue, white or red. If you come across dark lesions on your soles, toes, fingertips, palms, lining of your mouth or nose, you must check for this form of skin cancer. Treating Skin Cancer There are a number of surgical and non surgical methods to treat skin cancer. Depending on the stage of your cancer, your doctor may ask you to freeze it with liquid nitrogen, vaporize the cancer with laser or undergo photodynamic therapy. You may also be expected to undergo a surgery in case the melanoma is thin and small. Chemotherapy and radiation are often prescribed to kill cancer cells. Financially Managing Unforeseen Health Expenses Having yourself or a family member diagnosed with a deadly disease such as skin cancer can not only put you in an emotional turmoil but also a financial one. With the soaring expenses with respect to diagnostics, medicine and procedure, the common man must invest in the right health insurance policy. Choose from the best health insurance companies that provide you with significant coverage for critical illnesses such as skin cancer. You can log on to the internet and shortlist from a range of health insurance companies to identify the one that meets your personal medical needs.
July 13, 2016